Monthly Archives: September 2015

Demystifying Church Discipline

images2In this week’s PODCAST, as we continue in our chronological study of the life and ministry of Jesus, we come to Matthew 18:15-17 — one of the most important passages in all of the New Testament, the so-called “Church Discipline” passage.

Church Discipline, a teaching in many local churches that really rose into prominence in the late 1970’s and became quite the trend. I can remember attending church leadership conferences back then and hearing pastors — I’ll use word “boast” — of the fact that they recently removed an individual or individuals from their churches, thereby “preserving the purity of their churches.” Others would then oooh and ahhh at the boldness of the pastor in confronting the sin in his church and taking decisive action in order to preserve the purity of his church by the process of Church Discipline as outline by Jesus here in Matthew 18.

Today, one of this nation’s leading Church Discipline proponents insists that church discipline, as outlined in Matthew 18, is one of the marks of a healthy church. He writes this on his website, clearly articulating the prevailing view of Church Discipline, and indeed includes this as one of his main talking points as he addresses pastors’ conferences throughout the country, encouraging them to do the same:

Church discipline is the act of correcting sin in the life of the body, including the possible final step of excluding a professing Christian from membership in the church and participation in the Lord’s Supper because of serious unrepentant sin.

Consequently, it has become (and in many places still is) standard practice to remove or “exclude” or excommunicate (you choose the term) unrepentant sinners from their local churches. Or if not standard practice, this notion of Church Discipline is certainly included in most of our church bylaws.

Well, in light of the above definition — More importantly, in light of Jesus’ words in Matthew 18 — is that really what Jesus taught to His disciples and to us?

Let’s find out together.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Jesus LOVES the Little Children

jesusloveschildrenIn this week’s PODCAST, courtesy of the disciples, we get a rare-yet-precious glimpse into the heart of Jesus, the heart of God.

A truly remarkable glimpse. An ironic glimpse.

Ironic because as you will soon hear, the Gospel writers go to great lengths in this story to show us this side of God’s heart. Yet, it is an aspect of God that is rarely talked about. Inexplicably, it receives scant attention.

But we’ll balance the books in this podcast.

And in doing so, tender and heartwarming as this story is, we will hear Jesus will make one of the most severe statements of His entire 3 ½ year ministry. He will trumpet a dire warning and wave a red flag that needs like never before to be waved today, throughout our country and around the world.

You are in for an eye-opening treat, guaranteed. Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And PLEASE, if you think about it and are so inclined, consider sharing a link to this podcast with you loved ones and friends.

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Vanquishing the Monster Within

vlcsnap-1013140Tell you what…

If you want to see up close and oh-so-personal the heart of Jesus, look no further than this PODCAST’S passage here in Mark 9.

You are about to see a side of Jesus that is both breathtaking to behold, and irresistible to consider. A high definition video of Jesus that says so much even though it emerges from one very short story.

Perhaps the best place to begin our discussion is here: I love the disciples. I absolutely love the disciples. More to the point, I love how the Gospel writers consistently give to us a brutally honest, utterly unvarnished series of snapshots of exactly who these guys were. And how these guys thought and acted and reacted to each and every situation in which they found themselves.

I love them because to read their stories, to get into their minds and hearts, to understand struggles of their souls, all of that floods my own soul with copious amounts of hope. The hope that if Jesus could love men such as these (and He did!), He can love me too; He can love you too.

Which is precisely the point of this week’s podcast.

If ever the disciples deserved a stinging rebuke, here it is, in bold font and living color. Yet, amazingly, no rebuke was given. Even though I know that the disciples’ words, spoken behind Jesus’ back, must have hurt Him enormously. Even though their discussion unveiled the darkest sides of their souls, exposing a monster that dwells within each of our hearts. A monster which we must deliberately and regularly hold in check, lest he break free and wreak havoc in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.

The monster to which I refer? Take a listen, and you will find out.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Jesus Walks the Way of Sorrows

Jerusalem, Israel: street sign on Via Dolorosa, the holy path Jesus walked on his final day - sign in Hebrew, Arabic and Latin, tile on stone wall

Jerusalem, Israel: street sign on Via Dolorosa, the holy path Jesus walked on his final day – sign in Hebrew, Arabic and Latin, tile on stone wall

Get ready to grow some goosebumps as you listen to this PODCAST.

I am away speaking at one of my all-time favorite places on the planet. So yes, this is an Encore Podcast. But don’t let that stop you from listening. This is one of the most INSIGHTFUL and EYE-OPENING studies we have had in our Jesus in HD series.

Consider this your very own personalized tour, with me as your humble tour guide, as together we travel the storied streets of the Via Dolorosa. A short walk riddled with “Ah Ha” moments, too many to count!

Enjoy. And may God bless you richly as you listen.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

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